Roll up, roll up, for the most “magnifical”, “tremendible” and “fantasticulous” experience in town.
After successful runs in Edinburgh and around the UK, Les Enfants Terribles bring The Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie back for its latest tour.
Les Enfants Terribles, award-winning creators of The Terrible Infants, Alice’s Adventures Underground and The Trench, aim to delight big children and little adults alike with songs, tall tales and some very peculiar creatures.
They come to the De La Warr Pavilion on Monday February 15 - tickets cost £10.50 or £35 for family of four, on 01424 229111 or www.dlwp.com.
“Ever wanted to count a Decapus’s legs? Or wondered what a Whistling Pank eats?” asks James Seager, who runs the company with Oliver Lansley. “Would you like to catch a glimpse of the fabled Massive Paw or lick a Tresillian Toad? Or perhaps see a cow that looks like Brian May? Then you’ve come to the right place!”
The piece, as James explains, is the tale of Dr Longitude and his team of experts who will guide you through a “puppet-packed, ludicrously-lyrical and magically musical tour of the Imaginary Menagerie’s finest exhibits.”
“It’s very silly, and it’s very bright, and it’s very colourful,” James says. “Dr Longitude travels around the world looking for strange beasts, and along the way he collects people to help him, and he uses these people to help capture the beasts. The show is a collection of five stories of how he caught these five different animals. There is a lot of music as well. It is very silly and very over the top, but the great thing is that it is suitable for all the family. It works just as well at 11 o’clock in the morning with all the children there as it does at 11 o’clock at night with just the adults.
“The company has been going for 15 years now. It was originally set up with my producing partner Oliver, and we started doing shows at Edinburgh every year until about 2007. We then did this show called The Terrible Infants, and that was the formation of the company as we know it today. The show did very well and we managed to tour from it and to take it abroad. It has gone everywhere, and we have grown and grown ever since.
“Stylistically the show was also a change in direction for us. It was a show like cautionary tales of children misbehaving, very Roald Dahlesque. We had a designer Sam on it, and he has been with us ever since. We had a lot of puppets in it, and we do use a lot of puppets, but we would not class ourselves as a puppet theatre company. If anything, we are a story-telling company. If to tell the story we need puppets, we will use them. If to tell the story, we need a weird or strange set, then that’s what we will do.”
As for the current show: “Originally we did it as an outdoor show. We did it a couple of years ago, and we toured it to a lot of festivals. It was set in and around a horse box, and we would rock up like a pop-up theatre. But it proved so successful that we started thinking whether we could convert the show into an indoor show, which is what we have now done.”